Is it possible to install a .pkg using a terminal ? (I wanted to install an app through ssh).

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The installer command is used to install Mac OS X installer packages to a specified domain or volume. The installer command installs a single package per invocation, which is specified with the -package parameter ( -pkg is accepted as a synonym). It may be either a single package or a metapackage. In the case of the metapackage, the packages which are part of the default install will be installed unless disqualified by a package's check tool(s).

See man installer for the full functionality. Often

sudo installer -pkg /path/to/package.pkg -target /

is all that's needed.

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    Note that the -target is a device and not a path. So keep it "/" for most cases. – AlexV Nov 15 '16 at 2:53
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    @AlexV colour me confused - / is a path and a device is mounted on it. So why would an option that requires a device as an argument accept /? – muru Jun 14 '17 at 2:25
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    @muru - The documentation calls it a "device", but really it's got its own syntax for defining target (not exactly "unix device node"). According to the installer manpage, it can be a device node (as you expect), the disk identifier (eg disk1s9), the mountpoint (hence "/"), the volume UUID, or any of the install domains listed by installer -dominfo. – sehrgut Mar 28 '19 at 19:09

Install all .pkg files from the current folder to /Applications:

for f in *.pkg ; 
    do sudo installer -verbose -pkg "$f" -target /

As an alternative you can install the packages to your home folder with -target ~. They will end up in /Users/<your_account>/Applications unless a specific path is predefined in the installer.

If you need to see what exactly an pkg installer contains and what pre- and post-install scripts will be run then you could install SuspiciousPackage (freeware), and use quick preview from Finder while the .pkg file is selected. Pressing spacebar in Finder with the file selected should work too.

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    This doesn't necessarily install to /Applications - it depends on the package, for example PowerShell for macOS installs to /usr/local. – RichVel May 24 '17 at 8:21

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